The Buzz

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Consumer-electronics firm Olympus has clicked with legendary author and journalist Harold Evans who is helping to get the word out about the company's contributions to the world of innovation. (Who knew that Olympus pioneered the world of endoscopy?) When Olympus found out it was mentioned in Evans' forthcoming book, "They Made America-From the Steam Engine to the Search Engine," the corporate PR team leapt on the opportunity to be involved in the October launch. A TV adaptation is in the works and will air on PBS on Nov. 8.

Evans is scheduled to speak at an elite meeting of doctors in October and will host a panel on innovation in New York featuring, among others, the company's senior executives. He's already delivered speeches to company management about the themes covered in his book, which includes stories on Google, Bank of America and Polaroid. "The American innovative edge has been declining in the last decade," Evans says, citing a drop in patents, scientific papers and Nobel prizes. "There's too much talk of business scandals."

Separately, Olympus is also a sponsor of Evans' TV show. The firm is creating its debut TV spot from Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., part of Interpublic Group of Cos., for its first-ever PBS sponsorship. Sadly, Evans is not in the ad, but the spot draws inspiration from the concept of innovation and will appear on DVD versions of the TV series.

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